SAUSAGES are putting produce in the Pyreness region on the national foodie map months after fire ravaged the Avoca butcher shop.
Butcher James Collicoat and wife Hayley returned to their hometown on Tuesday with a runner-up accolade in the National Sausage King Competition for their traditional Australian beef entry.
This comes in days after Grampians Grape Escape revealed Mr Collicoat was set to put on a show with Dublin nose-to-tail celebrity chef and My Kitchen Rules judge Colin Fassnidge in the May festival.
The Collicoats have been left to base their business Pyrenees Premium Cuts, with limited operations, from their new Maryborough shop since the Avoca fire in September.
People sometimes forget small businesses in regional towns but when you love local and support hometown business great things can happen
"We think it's fantastic Avoca and Maryborough can carry this title. We feel so lucky and privileged to bring home to Victoria the second best sausage in Australia," Ms Collicoat said.
The Collicoats spent four days in Perth for on-site testing and taste judging with workshops alongside the nation's best butchers.
Ms Collicoat said they were proud with what they had achieved in what had been such a difficult time for their business.
Work to restore the Avoca butcher shop is making slow progress but Ms Collicoat remained hopeful they would be back working in town by mid-year.
They still supply local businesses with their product in Avoca and Ararat and people can order from their Maryborough store, but Ms Collicoat said had been a hard journey.
Opportunities to work alongside chefs like Mr Fassnidge are exciting for the Collicoats as they continue to develop the business they opened almost three years ago.
Ms Collicoat said the butchery techniques demonstration at the Grape Escape helped people to better understand different cuts for different cooking methods.
Mr Fassnidge is then billed to lead a big cook-up with cuts from the workshop.
Mr Collicoat co-hosted a butchery session with River Cottage Australia's Paul West at the festival in Halls Gap last year.
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